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Baker's Dozen

"You Can't Escape Your Influence" - Mark Lanegan's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , January 26th, 2012 04:35

In one of our best Baker's Dozens yet, Mark Lanegan talks Julian Marszalek through the most played discs in his collection

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The Gun Club Miami

I’d never heard anything like it. I love it but it’s also very scary; I’ve described it before as ‘serial killer music’. It’s their second album and the songs are a lot more personal and more accessible at the same time. In some cases, that would make me go, ‘Ah, that sucks now’ but I love it even more after the third record and then Mother Juno came out with that crazy Robin Guthrie production. I loved that also; I loved all their records, actually. Miami, though, somehow internalised things more than their first record [The Fire Of Love]. It’s certainly a more spooky affair. [Gun Club lynchpin] Jeffrey Lee Pierce loved the third record [The Las Vegas Story], which is another incredible record, but what can you say about this? I suppose I could have chosen any Gun Club record but this record in particular resonates.

I was about 17 or 18-years-old when The Fire of Love first came out. It certainly wasn’t easy to access music in my hometown. There was a comic book store where the owner had a bunch of original punk rock singles and that’s where I became exposed to the music that became important to me. But after that I didn’t really have anything so that first Gun Club record I actually got by taking a bus 120 miles to Seattle where there were three or four record stores in the downtown area where I would walk around. I saw the record cover and liked the name of the name of the band and I thought, ‘This looks interesting…’ Of course when I heard the record I was really captivated because Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s singing voice was really intense. To this day, he’s still probably my favourite singer of all time.

I got to know Jeffrey Lee. I was at a show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles and I’d gone along to see Mike Watt with fIREHOSE. Their soundman and I were friendly and I said, ‘Oh hey, what you been doin’?’ and he said, ‘I’ve been out with The Gun Club’ and I said, ‘What?!’ because I’d never heard of them playing anywhere in the United States at that point.

And I said to him, ‘Man, I love those guys. They’re my favourite band’ and he said, ‘Oh really? Well, Jeffrey’s going to be here tonight, he’s staying at his mom’s just down the street.’ I said, ‘Dude, you’ve got to introduce me.’

While the band was playing that night I noticed that Steve the soundman was looking at me and next to him was Jeffrey and at some point I went up to him – and this was one of the first and last times that I approached someone cold as a fan but I was so into their music – and I introduced myself and said, ‘You know, I’m one of your biggest fans and I can’t tell you how much your music means to me’ and he said, ‘Do you ever come to London?’ and I said, ‘Well, yeah… I might be there next month’ and he said, ‘Here’s my phone number there. Give me a call when you get there and we’ll get something to eat’ and I was like [makes wild-eyed gesture], ‘Uh… OK!’ and that’s how we became friends.

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Jan 26, 2012 9:41am

Mark Lanegan is a gent, and I am really looking forward to his new album.

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Jan 26, 2012 1:20pm

Great list...gotta get that Flesheaters album. Love that Lanegan digs 'Low Life' also

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Jan 26, 2012 2:48pm

This has probably been said before but this is just a fantastic feature. So interesting to hear what bands or artists really influenced other artists. Great stuff. Educational too. I'd never heard of The Gun Club before, just brilliant.

Any chance some scribes from The Quietus might indulge us with their baker's dozen at some point in the future? Out of curiosity.

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Jan 26, 2012 8:47pm

Great list, great feature. Mark Lanegan is the man.

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John Doran
Jan 26, 2012 10:24pm

In reply to AvAnt:

I fear that my Baker's Dozen would be quite boring compared to this and a few of the others. For example, mine would almost certainly include Public Enemy's Nation Of Millions; The Fall's Hex Enduction Hour; Slayer's Reign In Blood; Electric Wizard's Dopethrone... so nothing that surprising there... I think my top twenty favourite songs would be more interesting but I'd never be able to choose.

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Tim Russell
Jan 27, 2012 7:00am

Great article, but he sure does look an awful lot like Will Ferrell.

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Jan 27, 2012 7:50am

Great list. The albums that I already own are of such a caliber that I now need to track down the ones I don't posess. Many thanks Mark. Always enjoy reading your interviews and hearing yr opinions.

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Jan 27, 2012 10:18am

I love Lanegan. he is up there with PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Tom Waits. Consistantly on the cutting edge.

You know, a lot of your baker's dozens are enjoyably predictable. but this one was all surprises.
Gun CLub is maybe the only one i wasn't spuprised by.
Great read.

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Jan 27, 2012 11:46am

Fantastic choices. I'm now totally in love with Fabrizio De Andre as a result. Great to know Lanegan rates the Bee Gees.

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Jan 27, 2012 2:44pm

You know it's been a good feature when you immediately go to YouTube to hear some of this stuff.

I've never heard the Flesh Eaters before...amazing.

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Jan 27, 2012 4:16pm

In reply to 5onthe5:

Ive always dug the Flesheaters and that rec in particular. The players on that album are a whos who of great LA musicans of that time , featuring members of X , The Blasters and Los Lobos but its Chris Ds vocals and lyrics that define it. Great , underappreciated band and record.

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Jan 27, 2012 8:26pm

hell yeah!

what a fun and passionate article to read! i've been a tree/lanegan fan for years and it's truly
great to get some in-depth info and stories from such a man of mystery!

well done mark!

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Jan 31, 2012 6:12pm

Wow, great read. Love his list. I never would have guessed he'd be into most of these! And some artists I'm going to have to go look up now. Llove how chatty he is these days! Thanks for a wonderful feature.

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Feb 7, 2012 12:42pm

It's about time someone started talking about The Gun Club again. Jeffrey Lee was such a poet. The Gun Club's imagery is powerful and their music is timeless. Check out his solo record Wildweed. Fantastic stuff. Kudos for mentioning The Flesheaters (featuring X). Great record, I love the artwork. John Cale's Paris 1919 is a stunning record (Check out Sally Timms from Mekons version of half past France). Nice list.

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Feb 7, 2012 2:21pm

Interesting list, but something is off here - I have never, ever, heard Lanegan be so open and speak so........not quite sure what the word is, but he is way more reserved than this. I don't buy that he said these things.

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Julian Marszalek
Feb 8, 2012 1:15am

In reply to :

So what are you trying to say? That I made this stuff up? I've still got the recording of our conversation to prove otherwise. As it was, a number of these albums happen to be some of my favourites too so it follows that a pair of music fans spent an hour enthusing over them.

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Todd Simmons
Feb 12, 2012 7:12am

Lanegan's voice makes everything sound cool.. Fun to read these sorts of lists. He's kind of a softy for such a heavy cat. I saw the Bee Gees in Portland for my 10th birthday. My first concert. Lanegan understands.

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Feb 14, 2012 9:26pm

Wow! Fabrizio De Andre', this is surely a surprise. Grande Mark!

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Feb 17, 2012 2:27pm

Interesting choices, and great tales, I find myself having eight of the choices. Good to see mentions for the Bee Gees (all those early records have great moments) and Leather Nun, great live, how they changed over the years, from 'Slow Death' to 'Cool Shoes.' Screaming Trees were such a great live band.

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Feb 18, 2012 9:29am


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Feb 22, 2012 12:59pm

In reply to Paul:

Awesome piece, awesome dude. Roll on the March London gig!

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Feb 23, 2012 2:25pm

Great list. Great comments.
Any chance of getting an album of a song each from these records? I've wished Lanegan would do another covers album for years -- I love his voice and his ear, but I find a lot of his songs to be pretty unremarkable. I'll Take Care of You is the only album of his I listen to with any regularity, and I listen to it a lot.

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Feb 23, 2012 6:36pm

I love many of the same albums as Lanegan. Was thrilled to see him mention that album by The Leather Nun, it is indeed great. As are the ones by The Gun Club and Crime and the City Solution. All terribly underrated bands.

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aron aronsson
Mar 11, 2012 12:59pm

Can you please tell Mr Lanegan that I can tell him the story of Leather Nun as I was in the band from the start and know it all. I´m in Copenhagen on Sat 17 and want to meet him. If it´s possible pass it on.
Aron leaduitarist Leather nun.

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Mar 12, 2012 12:27pm

Fabrizio De Andrè! such a great surprise! He's a poet! Great to know he listens to him! Grande Mark :)

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Jul 22, 2012 5:35pm

Nice, the stuff i know is great and the others i'm definitely checking out

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Oct 12, 2017 6:41pm

Love Mark Lanegan and of course The Gun Club and Joy Division Ian Curtis and Jeffrey Lee Pierce were fucking true artist so underappreciated!

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